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August 2022 New Car Sales Review - Part 1

Although the new car industry continues to face headwinds in the way of supply chain bottlenecks, elevated inflation, and rising interest rates, August showed some of the first signs of real improvement despite production cutbacks for the likes of Honda, Mazda, and Toyota.

Sales for the month were back at their highest in any given August since 2017, which according to FCAI chief executive Tony Weber, “gives hope that the supply of vehicles to the Australian market is beginning to show signs of improvement”. It is anticipated that things could improve as wait lists are closed off and parts slowly become more accessible.

Total new car sales

For the second month in a row, new car sales are growing once again, which is giving rise to some optimism in the car industry. Last month’s new car sales totalled 95,256 units, which was a whopping 17.3% higher than the prior corresponding period. As mentioned earlier, this was the best August result in five years.

On a year-to-date basis, sales now sit at 717,575 units, with the year-over-year deficit reducing to 2.1%. Keep in mind, however, the nation was just starting to emerge from lockdowns this time last year, which goes some way towards explaining why the comparable result is much higher in 2022, and why the year-to-date gap has suddenly shrunk quite dramatically. 

Nonetheless, last month’s final figure is only 1.5% off the all-time high for August, and it is 2.8% higher than the five-year pre-pandemic average. New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland led the sales resurgence, up 40%, 18.4%, and 11.7% respectively.

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New car sales by segment

SUVs still hold a majority share of the market, representing 51% of all new cars sold in August, 2022. However, passenger vehicles did increase to 21% of the overall market, helped largely by a surge in Tesla deliveries last month.

The top segments by market share were: medium SUVs (19.1%); 4x4 utes (18.0%); large SUVs (13.2%); small SUVs (12.9%); small cars (8.6%).

Sales to private buyers rocketed higher by 22.9% last month, more than any other buyer category. Meanwhile business fleet sales improved 10.8%, rental fleet sales advanced 20%, but government fleet sales eased 5.7%.

Electric vehicle sales had a bumper month in August, with the monthly market share for battery electric cars reaching a record high of 4.4%. In total, there were 4,235 electric vehicles sold last month, although traditional ICE vehicles recorded strong double-digit growth.


Stay tuned for Part 2 of our review into new car sales for August 2022, covering vehicle makes and models.

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